Thunderstuck

Written by Pieter Jan on Oct 7, 2019 — 2 min read

At: Agios Nikolaos, Zakynthos island, Greece

We got stuck in Agios Nikolaos. There were thunderstorms all around us all day long. It rained. There was no wind, but the swell kept building up throughout the day, whipped up by faraway thunderstorms.

Near the end of the day, our berth near the quay became unbearable. One minute, the boat was two meters away and one meter below, the next moment you could almost step down to the quay across a 20 cm gap. At the closest I thought we would hit it this time for sure. At the furthest, our mooring lines were strung tight as a bowstring and jerked the boat back. My stress level was at a constant high. A violent jerk every three seconds for a whole afternoon doesn’t only throw your body off-balance, it also affects your mind. At the end of the day I could barely remember my own name.

A tip from harbormaster Dimitrios led us to a mooring buoy just outside the harbor, protected from the swell by a small island. We tied Vite & Rêves to the buoy with a mooring line, our anchor bridle and a backup line, for extra peace of mind. Then we went in search of a restaurant.

The nearest restaurant just shut off its lights as we approached. At the next one, the 5 waiters were watching a nature documentary about baby bears. The last restaurant in the street was entertaining the crew of the only other boat in the harbor, so they couldn’t close. We went in and had dinner.

No pictures today. It wasn’t a photogenic place, with the all-day rain. For a while I thought I was back in Belgium. Must’ve been the swell.